Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump and Senate Republicans' efforts to swiftly confirm conservative judges to federal courts across the country hit a speed bump on Wednesday after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley canceled panel votes set for Thursday on almost two dozen judicial nominations.

The backdrop: The cancellation comes amid a standoff with retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is holding firm on his pledge to oppose Trump's judicial nominees unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell schedules a vote on a bipartisan measure to protect the special counsel Robert Mueller. Republicans blocked a vote on the measure Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Flake voted against controversial nominee Thomas Farr to become a district judge in North Carolina. However, the nomination survived a key procedural vote after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie, inching Farr closer to confirmation.

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Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.